Take Two

I had so much fun doing the first water marbling that I had another go the very next day! It’s still a bit messy, but the results are wonderful! I may not ever get this technique completely right, but as long as I can keep producing quirky manicures like this, I’ll keep doing it. Again, I forgot to write down all the colours I used. D’oh!

Left hand, natural light.

Left hand, natural light.

Right hand, flash + natural light.

Right hand, flash + natural light.

In sad news, on the third attempt I realised that my nails were an absolute state, so I’ve had to cut them all down, and will be putting them through an intensive care treatment for the next few days. Lots of moisturising, and no acetone! I have a few things in the backlog to post anyway, so I shouldn’t be off radar for too long.

Saturday night’s alright

I had other plans last night; plans to go out and see friends and maybe get a little drunk, but I couldn’t quite muster the get up and go required, so I decided to stay in, pop on my onesie and do silly things to my nails. I used the wikihow tutorial for water marbled nails, but substituted tape for PVA glue, which was still very messy, so I will be trying with tape and vaseline on subsequent attempts.

It’s not perfect, but for a first attempt I’m pretty pleased with myself, so much so that I think I’m going to have another go tonight! I can’t remember all the colours I used, but I used Revlon Timeless as a base, which is a pale grey creme. I took photos of both hands, because the beauty of this mani is that every nail came out different.

Left hand, flash.

Left hand, flash.

Right hand, flash.

Right hand, flash.

Left hand, natural light.

Left hand, natural light.

Right hand, natural light.

Right hand, natural light.

So yes, despite the mess, an excellent result, and tons of fun! I look forward to doing an even better job next time.

Throwback Thursday

I’ve been away from home for a few days, so I’m really out of step with my manicures, so this is a bit of a cheat post, but I’ll be back to new things soon. Besides, I have been intending to re-swatch this polish for ages, and now I finally have, and it has only strengthened my love for it!

This is HITS Mari Moon Cutie Pie, a Brazilian multichrome that I picked up from Llarowe for my birthday last year. I used 2 coats over black (Revlon Knockout) this time, which is starting to become my default for multichromes and thin duochromes, and it makes the colour shift so much more dramatic.

Indoor lighting.

Indoor lighting.

Indirect sunlight.

Sunlight.

Shade.

Shade.

Shade.

Shade.

This is really doing nothing to cure my addiction to multichromes… I must have more!

Fade to blue

There’s an awful lot of weather going on outside my house, that’s for sure. It’s put a bit of a damper on my social life, but on the plus side, I’ve had plenty of time to faff around with my nails! Alas, the lack of outdoor daylight has pissed all over my photo taking skills, so it’s just the one today, a new blue gradient using Barielle Sky’s The Limit and Rimmel Azure.

Flash.

Flash.

Despite the mess involved, I’m really loving gradients at the moment. I could’ve done better on this one, but I’ve got the technique down, so it’s just a case of luck and practice. Now that my nails are getting really long, I may soon try adding a third or even fourth colour in!

Updated: ZOMG the sun came out!

Sunlight! Huzzah!

Sunlight! Huzzah!

Take my wife. Please!

Now now, before you get any ideas. She’s not actually my wife, but she’s my very best friend and partner in minor infractions, so we do tend to spend a lot of time doing our nails together.

Anyway, she has a bit of a thing for nail wraps, which I sadly don’t get on with because my nail beds are so insanely deep. So when I’m out and about, I tend to pick up cheap wraps whenever I see them for her to play with. Recently, I’ve picked things up in Poundland, TKMaxx, Poundworld, Primark, New Look and Boots, but she decided to go for a set from New Look, that I picked up in their sale for £1.50.

Unfortunately, these are not particularly good wraps. This happens a lot when you buy cheap, but it’s worth a try as some of the cheap ones are really brilliant and the expensive ones are really fucking expensive. Anyway, they didn’t stick well, or wrap well, so the lovely wife pulled one of them off – and left an excellent jagged-edged cartoon graffiti style tip on her nail. She made the best of a bad situation, carefully ripped a few more and then filled in the other tips straight, using ORLY In The Navy (£3.99/TKMaxx); a simple, yet beautiful navy blue shimmer. The result is a really cute off-beat French manicure.

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I think it’s adorable, and it just goes to show that sometimes the very best manicures are completely accidental!

Happy new year!

Well, there is it, it’s 2014 now, and I am finally done with the complete shitbag of a year that was 2013, in which I lost one of my oldest and most cherished friends and a beloved partner at the same time, I ran out of money on numerous occasions, my darling son turned into a horribly rotten teenaged black lagoon dweller, and my general physical and mental health has taken more tumbles than an elderly lush. But I’m still here somehow, and there’ve been a few positives towards the end of the year, but basically, I am glad it is time to be moving on to bigger and better things.

Also, I just discovered The Nail and Beauty Link, which is supposedly a trade website for nail polish, but appears to allow personal transactions. They stock a lot of OPI, ORLY, Nubar, Essie and Zoya at some pretty excellent prices. I have ordered a few things, I will report back on the quality of their service when I have received my goodies.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a few of my festive manicures just to tide you over until I have time and energy to start swatching again. I still haven’t built my lightbox, but it’s high on my new to-do list, as is actually taking the time to catalogue my collection!

First up, Barielle Holiday Madness (TKMaxx/£9.99 for 5). This is a stunning olive green metallic shimmer; very festive and classy, and only required 2 coats. This held up well, even while my nails were at their longest and I was doing a lot of typing. Really like this one, will definitely wear it again.

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Next, vampy glitter tips from a combination of Revlon Black Star, a black shimmer and Maybelline Color Show (Brocades Collection) Ruby Refined (£3.99/Boots), which is a dense, delicately textured, pinkish red glitter, which made for a really gothy look. I think this one would actually look a little better if my nails had been shorter at this point, but it had a lot of drama. Wish I’d been able to show it off!

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Then I had to cut my nails back to almost nothing, and it was a quiet few weeks while I waited for them to be an acceptable length again. By the time I went to my first Christmas party of the season, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and decided to go for something short and funky. So here’s OPI Russian Navy (£5.99/TKMaxx) over Sally Hansen Raspberry Rave (£1/Poundland). This is a striping tape job, I wanted it to look sorta like random techno lights streaking over a dark sky, and I think it came out pretty well. Both polishes were delicious on their own, but Russian Navy is one of my picks of the year so far, it’s jaw-dropping! It’s a particularly curious shade, somewhere between royal purple and navy blue, with a subtle shimmer.

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And finally, here’s my Christmas day pick, Revlon Mistletoe (£1/Poundland). It really didn’t photograph that well, in natural light it is darker and has an almost green tone to it. But even as it is, a multicoloured micro glitter in a darkened base which took just two coats, and lasted through the whole of Christmas day and Boxing day, despite me spending a good portion of it wrestling with a live lobster and burning my fudge.

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Hope you all had a tolerable holiday period, and that you’re looking forward to the promise of a shiny new year. I am cautiously optimistic. I really hope 2014 doesn’t suck too much, for me or for everyone I love. Or you lot either.

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

I don’t normally go for blingy nails, but I do love studs, so here’s Barbara Daly Electric Spacedust (£3.99/Tesco), which is a sky blue shimmer, with square silver studs from Top Shop. The formula is very thin, comes out patchy, and always looks better in the bottle (in the bottle, it pretends to be a warm turquoise), but it was a surprisingly cute look.

With flash.

With flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

And then, as often happens, I got a bit bored with what I had going on, so decided to draw on tips with a silver metallic Sharpie. Was surprisingly simple, and didn’t look half bad! I also have gold and bronze Sharpies, so I think I’m going to try a waterfall mani with them at some point. Anyway, here’s how it turned out.

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I think they look kinda like little superhero costumes! I’m sure it would’ve looked much better if my nail tips weren’t such an utter shambles at the moment, but I’m almost at the stage of needing to cut them all back to nothing and let them recover for a bit, so I’m having my fun while I can.